The Non Verbal Interview…What it is Telling Others !
What Is Your Body Language Saying About You?
You have spent significant time preparing an impactful resume and you have gotten an interview! You dress appropriately for the interview and arrive 7-10 minutes beforehand. Thanks to your preparation, you have great answers to the commonly-asked interview questions. But you don’t get the job. What happened? Perhaps you forgot about the other 90% of the interview.
If it is true that 90% of communication is non-verbal, it makes sense that it is worth an applicant’s attention in preparing for an interview. Here are some tips on basic body language to be aware of while interviewing.
Handshake – Accept the interviewer’s greeting by standing, smiling, and shaking hands. Offer a firm handshake that displays confidence but is not overly enthusiastic. Your handshake will go a long way toward your first impression.
Posture – Sit upright and lean forward slightly. This conveys an attitude of interest and indicates that you are comfortable and confident. Tilt your head slightly to one side to show that you are paying attention. Keep your feet flat on the floor or cross your legs at your ankles. This shows that you are comfortable without being too relaxed or disinterested.
Hand Position – Rest your hands loosely on your lap or on the table. Take care not to fidget, wring your hands, or twiddle your thumbs, or cross your arms as it makes you look nervous, distracted, and distant. Avoid touching your mouth or covering any part of your face since this can be perceived as dishonesty.
Eye Contact – Maintain steady eye contact with the interviewer. Be sure to blink regularly so that you do not appear aggressive. Refrain from looking at the floor, staring blankly, or letting your eyes wander. Pay close attention the interviewer’s questions and nod occasionally. Not only will this help you appear interested, but it will ensure you hear and understand the questions being asked.
Delivery – Speak in a clearly, varying your tone and pitch; do not speak in a monotone voice. If there are multiple interviewers, speak directly to the person who asked the question. Glance briefly at each person, but return to the questioner before ending your response. Pause before answering each question to give yourself time to think as well as to ensure the interviewer has finished the question.
Last Impression – End the interview on the same note as you started, with a firm handshake and a smile.
It is always a good rule of thumb to take your cues from the interviewer, so when in doubt mimic what he or she does. This will make the interviewer feel at ease and will show an attitude of agreement on your part.
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